March 18, 2008—
This beachcomber on Coney Island in New York
on February 22, 2008, could pass for a polar explorer after record-breaking snows blanketed the northeastern United States this winter.
New York's Central Park saw its biggest single snowfall—26.9 inches (68 centimeters)—since record-keeping began in the 1860s.
This winter saw the coolest December-February period both globally and in the U.S. since 2001, according to the U.S. National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina.
But in Europe, Scandinavian countries have experienced their warmest winter on record.
And two-thirds of the southeastern U.S., was officially experiencing drought conditions at the end of February, with more than 25 percent of the region suffering extreme-to-exceptional drought.
Meanwhile, Arctic conditions and record snowfall hit the Middle East and China.
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Photograph by Mario Tama/Getty Images